Next Performing Arts | Interdisciplinary

Jean Laurenz, Maria Finkelmeier, and Greg Jukes

Descended 

Artist conversation follows

Interdisciplinary | Ohio Premiere

An actor in a white dress and black scarf holds a mirror in the air while screaming.

Part chamber music, part film and theater, this shape-shifting work explores the ghost stories of 19th-century writer Lafcadio Hearn.

Lafcadio Hearn’s great-great grandniece, Jean Laurenz, a vocalist and trumpet player, and multimedia sound artist Maria Finkelmeier, explore the turbulent undertones and uncanny narratives of his celebrated macabre stories. Finkelmeier and Laurenz weave together sound and story to explore memory, ancestry, and the supernatural. Through this multilayered work, audiences will create their own sensory entrance into life’s deepest questions—questions whose fibers weave into every ghost story, spiritual mantra, and subliminal experience. (Program approx. 50 mins.)

Stay after the performance for a 20-minute artist conversation.

See the entire performing arts spring 2024 lineup.

IMAGE CAPTION
Descended, photo: Karl Johnson Studios.

"Finkelmeier and Laurenz create an eerie musical backdrop to explore Hearn’s world, complete with recitations from his writings. It’s ethereal, strange, and hard to get out of your head once you hear it."
David Weininger, Boston Globe

About the artists

Jean Laurenz chevron-down chevron-up

Jean Laurenz is an eclectic musician and multisensory artist. She is currently the assistant professor of trumpet at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a performer, Laurenz has enjoyed appearances with Adele, the Hanson Brothers, the Boston Pops, the New York Philharmonic, and the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Primarily a chamber musician, she frequents the genre with innovative ensembles including Seraph Brass, the Knights, A Far Cry, Alarm Will Sound, and with Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect. Laurenz is also a vocalist and stage performer who enjoys multidimensional artistic performances that combine theater, singing, trumpet, and collaborative arts. Laurenz holds degrees in trumpet performance and choral education from Yale University and Northwestern University. She is a passionate educator, social activist, and teaching artist. Laurenz has curated interactive youth and community concerts for Carnegie Hall, the Boston Symphony, and Handel and Haydn Society.

Maria Finkelmeier chevron-down chevron-up

Maria Finkelmeier is a percussionist, composer, public artist, educator, and arts entrepreneur, who was named a “one-woman dynamo” by the Boston Globe and Boston’s Best 2018 "Creative Catalyst" by the Improper Bostonian. She has created large-scale multimedia works in public spaces from Cincinnati to Northern Sweden, with several locations in Boston, including Fenway Park, Charlestown Navy Yard, Edison Power Plant, and Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. Finkelmeier finds music, narrative, and collaboration in unexpected places. She’s created entire works from found, nontraditional sounds and transformed iconic structures into percussive playgrounds. She’s been commissioned by the National Parks Service, BLINK Cincinnati, TEDx Cambridge, New Gallery Concert Series, i = u festival, the Illuminus Festival, Boston Center for the Arts, and the Outside the Box Festival. In 2018, she released her debut album as a composer A Line that Terminates at the Present. An experienced entrepreneur, Finkelmeier has founded and directed numerous creative ventures, including her creative multimedia studio, MF Dynamics, along with Kadence Arts, Make Music Boston, Quartet Kalos, Masary Studios, and Ensemble Evolution. She is an associate professor at Berklee College of Music.

PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BY
Doris Duke Foundation

WEXNER CENTER PROGRAMS MADE POSSIBLE BY
Ohio Department of Development
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Wexner Family
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Ohio Arts Council, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts
CampusParc
Ohio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY
Mike and Paige Crane
Axium Packaging
Nancy Kramer
Ohio State Energy Partners
Ohio History Fund/Ohio History Connection
Larry and Donna James
Bruce and Joy Soll
Rebecca Perry Damsen and Ben Towle
Jones Day
Alex and Renée Shumate

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Next Performing Arts

Jean Laurenz, Maria Finkelmeier, and Greg Jukes